I opened the fridge and stacks of buffet remains stared back at me. Mostly cheese and cold meats. It’s New Years Day and I am cheesed and buffeted out! But what to do with it? Hmm. Then I remember an old Nigella recipe, blew the dust off “How to be a domestic goddess” and adapted her Pizza Rustica to the contents of my fridge and produced a very yummy pie indeed. So if like me you were a little ambitious in your cheese board purchases here’s an idea for you…
For the pastry:
250g plain flour
125g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold water
1 heaped teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar

For the filling:
Circa 400g ham & sausage: ham, chorizo, gammon etc.
Circa 500g leftover cheeses: mozzarella, cheddar, stilton, parmesan etc.
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
Black pepper to season

For the glaze:
1 beaten egg

Official Nigella recipe says 22cm spring form tin, buttered but I don’t have one so used a square ceramic lasagne dish.
Oven at 200c/Gas mark 6, dropping to 180c/Gas mark 4

1. Start your pastry – pour the flour, salt, sugar & butter in the food processor bowl & stick in fridge. Stir together the yolks & water & pop this in the fridge too, leave for 10mins.

2. Butter your dish or tin.

3. Start your filling – chop up into chunks circa 1-2cm & gently fry your sausage, chorizo, gammon, ham etc and leave to cool for 5-10mins.

4. Make your pastry – pulse the butter, flour, salt & sugar together until it is like sand / porridge oats in texture. Add the egg yolks & water mix until it is just about to come together then stop, squidge it together with your hands & divide into 2/3rds (base & sides) to 1/3rd (lid). Roll out the base & line dish, wrap lid pastry in clingfilm & rest all in the fridge.

5. Chop up your softer cheeses & coarsely grate any harder cheeses e.g. Parmesan.

6. Return to your cooled sausage & meat mix and add the beaten eggs, stir in the herbs, chilli & garlic to the hammy eggy mix and add the mountain of chopped cheeses.

7. Pour the filling into the pastry lined dish and roll out the lid & place on top of the filled pie. Pinch the edges or press with a fork, brush with egg to glaze and stab it a handful of times to make steam holes.

8. Bake – 10 mins at 200c, then turn down to 180c for a further 45 minutes.

9. Leave to cool!

Leave it to cool for at least 10 mins before serving, it’s best after about 25mins but is delicious at room temperature or a snack straight from the fridge the next day (if there is any left!). Makes 8-10 good-sized portions.